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Why The Open-Source Graphics Card Failed

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  • Why The Open-Source Graphics Card Failed

    Phoronix: Why The Open-Source Graphics Card Failed

    Last week I wrote that the open-source graphics card is dead. The developer behind Project VGA has now written a lengthy email to me to explain why the open-source graphics card is no more...

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=MTEwODY

  • #2
    open hardware is very interesting, but very challenging. The entry costs to make anything are huge, so you need big backing before you can even start. I think an open graphics card is probably the most ambitious open hardware project that there has been (even more than an open phone).

    However there are projects that make a good success, for example the arduino, and all the open addon boards. the beagleboard (though it has big backing from TI), rasberry pi, isostick, reprap etc.

    With luck things will get easier and cheaper. ARM chips mean you can do a lot in small space for not too much money. I wonder if someone could put an ARM with a Mali GPU (or several) on a PCI-E card, and make a basic graphics card for ?100. It wont impress gamers, but it would be interesting for some.

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    • #3
      well that and it would have been a much more interesting project if they had the backing to build a full opensource HTPC mobo based around something like the OpenSPARC spec and what the http://www.pchdtv.com/ project was doing.

      Also, what happened to the PCHDTV project? It looks like they're still selling the same PCI HD-5500 card they where like 6 years ago, these days most mobos come with only 1 PCI slot, if that, would hope they would make a PCIe 1x card to stay relevant.

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      • #4
        Awww, sad.
        But an honest email.

        And yes, even some years ago people said that it was nearly impossible to get a real HW house up and running producing CPUs or GPUs since there is way too high leveled know how etc. involved that you can't just reach within a few months. Plus you need a lot of money to invest first and that takes time until you reach ROI.
        Though that shouldn't mean there wouldn't be an option for simpler chips. Or design a board from ready components (OpenPhoenux and the like)

        Anyway IMO any company should open specs to a degree that people can write a fully working driver for it. Yes.
        Stop TCPA, stupid software patents and corrupt politicians!

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        • #5
          I'm extremely curious as to what that third points company name is. Name and shame? Hell yes. People who know and care about opensource etc. should at least know how to avoid them.

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          • #6
            Nothing wrong with anonymous contributions to FOSS projects

            I'm the founder the Open Graphics Project.

            I don't fully understand Mr. Meeuwisse's objection. A respectable company was kind enough to contribute substantially to the OGP, but they requested that their contribution remain anonymous. I don't see anything wrong with that. We were very grateful for their help, and we could not have succeeded without it. But we did succeed, and the FOSS community is better off for it, with full design specs for a 100% purely open source graphics card development platform.

            Making an anonymous contribution or code or designs to a FOSS project is no different from making an anonymous, no-strings monetary contribution. But Mr. Meeuwisse seems to disagree for some reason and took it upon himself to "expose" them.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by oliver View Post
              I'm extremely curious as to what that third points company name is. Name and shame? Hell yes. People who know and care about opensource etc. should at least know how to avoid them.
              No company should be shamed for contributing honestly (anonymously or otherwise) to a FOSS project.

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              • #8
                How about six words, greed and lack of enough talent

                How about six words, greed and lack of enough talent?

                Those stubborn enough to do it without market leader support don't get enough support from others with good enough talent; there are only a limited number of people who can actually improve on the current state-of-the-art.

                The greed? Well, some of those talented guys will probably be sucked up into the biig machinery. Ok, not greed. Reality.

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                • #9
                  Greed?

                  Greed? I fail to see greed here. OGD1 is 100% open, that was one of the original goals. That goal has been met. What greed..?

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                  • #10
                    A vga "card" with 640x480 framebuffer is nothing really fancy. It was a toy project from the beginning it seems. That others used the design to make something more useful i not bad, but maybe they should have given back a bit more infos/sample cards. I dont think it is a huge loss for the community, the new pi seems to be much more interesting in terms of usefullness. Even the oldest gfx cards work in vesa mode and why to create something "new" with lower specs, thats something i dont get...

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